The federal government, yesterday, said that arresting the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau alive, will address the controversy surrounding his identity.
It also restated its commitment to achieve the feat before the rescheduled general election.
Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC), Mr Mike Omeri, stated this in Abuja while responding to questions from journalists on the controversy over the identity Abubakar Shekau said that it is important to get Shekau alive so that his real identity would be ascertained.
Omeri recalled that the group’s erstwhile spokesman, Abu Qaqa, “was mutating until it got to a point that he could not mutate anymore; because if one is taken out, they bring another one who will introduce himself as Abu Qaqa.
“That was established until it got to a point that they had to stop. Even when Qaqa was operating, Shekau was there; he now had to assume the role of commander of Boko Haram and spokesperson.
“From intelligence available and the conclusion of the military, the first Shekau was taken out and another one came. So the military say that they have taken out that one and they are going to take out this one; that there is a trend of a merger of their leadership.
“So I will believe that because I have not been there to see the two of them. They are the ones that have met the first one and they are the ones fighting to get this one this time around. So I will believe them until this war against terror finishes. So let’s get the man. That is why it is important to get him alive so that the full story would be told.”
Omeri further stated that the Nigerian military forces had continued to record remarkable success in the ongoing war against terror with stiff resistance against incursion by the militants into the country at several locations.
He said several towns and settlements earlier occupied by Boko Haram had been recaptured, including Gajigana, Gajiram, Gabchari, Abba Jabari, Damakar, Kumaliwa, Bosso, Karisungul, Wanti and Jeram.
He called on Nigerians to be patriotic and appreciate the effort and sacrifice of the military and security personnel by shunning the trend of cynicism among some unpatriotic Nigerians who have chosen to ascribe the recent success in the anti-terror war to external efforts.
Omeri also called on operators of motor parks, gardens, schools, churches and mosques to exercise extra caution to be able to check the activities of fugitive terrorists who are resorting to attacking soft targets as witnessed in Potiskum in Yobe and Kano recently.
He further revealed that Nigeria would be in-charge of the actual take-off of the Multi-national Joint Task Force set up by the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, noting that the command will subsequently become rotational.
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday paid a surprise visit to the recaptured towns of Baga in Borno State and Mubi in Ada-mawa State, where he surveyed the efforts made by Nigerian troops.
The president was visiting barely 24 hours after the Chief of Ar-my Staff, Lt-Gen Kenneth Minima, visited Baga on Wednesday, a trip he told newsmen was a confidence building one for the troops that liberated the Borno border town.
Minima has mentioned in an interview yesterday that given the successes achieved by the troops in Baga the president might likely visit the troops.
Though Jonathan’s visit to Baga was low-key as even officials of Borno State government were almost not aware of it.
However, some journalists were able to track down the number one citizen at the time he was boarding his flight to return to Abu-ja through the Maiduguri international airport.
He told newsmen at the airport that the journey to end the Boko Haram insurgency had just begun in an aggressive note.
“First and foremost, I went to see our soldiers and to encourage them on their gallantry efforts. I also went to convey the appreci-ation of Nigerians to them,’’ he said. “Also I went to inspect the weapons we have and to visit communities devastated by the excesses of Boko Haram. I just went to see things for myself.”
On what happens after the liberation of the seized towns in the northeast Nigeria, the president said there were govern-ment departments that will handle the rehabilitation of destroyed communities.
President Jonathan was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff Air Mashal Alex Badeh, the Chief of Army Staff, the national security adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki, and the inspector-general of police, Alhaji Suleiman Abba, among others.
Boko Haram: Jonathan Promises To Address Troops’ Welfare
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday at Mubi, Adamawa State, and Baga in Borno State promised Nigerian troops battling the Boko Haram sect that issues pertaining to their welfare would be properly and expeditiously addressed.
He also assured them that they will be duly rewarded for their bravery and patriotic service to the nation at the successful conclusion of ongoing operations against Boko Haram.
Presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, told journalists that the president applauded the soldiers for “proving their mettle once again through the rapid recapture of territories formerly held by insurgents in the country’s north-eastern states”.
According to him, Jonathan addressed officers and men of the Nigerian Army in both towns recently recaptured from Boko Haram.
He said, “Jonathan declared that he and all Nigerians were very proud of the bravery, competence and patriotism with which they were now undertaking operations to expel the insurgents from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
“The military’s recent victories against Boko Haram, President Jonathan told the troops, have also proved conclusively that all those within and outside the country who cast aspersions on Nigerian soldiers and questioned their ability and willingness to overcome the insurgents were misinformed and wrong”.
Accompanied on the trip by the national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, and all the service chiefs, the president was said to have assured the troops that the federal government will ensure that they receive all the equipment and logistics they require to complete the ongoing mission of reasserting government’s effective control over all areas formerly held by Boko Haram.
He further assured the troops that families of fallen soldiers who lost their lives in battles against Boko Haram will also be well provided for.
Abati said the soldiers responded to the president’s address with chants of “Never Again” and assured the president that insurgents and terrorists will never again be allowed to take and hold any Nigerian territory.
Leadership news – culled from: http://leadership.ng/news/414202/why-we-want-shekau-alive-fg